Trump tries to spin AZ 'audit' report affirming Biden's win after he called Cyber Ninjas 'highly respected'

Trump tries to spin AZ 'audit' report affirming Biden's win after he called Cyber Ninjas 'highly respected'

After spending months auditing the 2020 presidential election results in Maricopa County, Arizona, the far-right Florida-based firm Cyber Ninjas is poised to report — as many predicted — that their recount of the ballots did not significantly change the result of President Joe Biden's win over former President Donald Trump. In fact, according to early reports, the recount actually increased Biden's margin by several hundred points.

Trump issued a statement late Thursday night, after news about the report's conclusions had already broken, that expressed confidence that Friday's press conference would show that he really won Arizona. ABC News reporter Jonathan Karl reported that the message was subsequently removed from his site, but later on Friday, former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale denied this claim. He said the statement hadn't yet been added to the site, but would be soon.

In his statement, Trump wrote, "Everybody will be watching Arizona tomorrow to see what the highly respected auditors and Arizona State Senate found out regarded the so-called Election."

Trump issued additional statements on Friday, trying to spin the Cyber Ninja's findings and claim vindication. Their report and presentation on Friday leveled a series of allegations of supposed irregularities in the election that they claimed raised doubts about the integrity of the election. Trump used these claims to assert his repeatedly debunked belief the election was stolen. In fact, as Maricopa County officials and other experts pointed out, the Cyber Ninja's claims of irregularities were based on misunderstandings of how elections work.

The news that now-President Joe Biden won Arizona was first reported on Election Night 2020 by the decision desk at Fox News, which Trump viewed as an act of betrayal by the right-wing cable news outlet. Trump has spent almost eleven months insisting that he was the real winner in Arizona, and when Republicans in the Arizona State Legislature ordered the Cyber Ninjas audit — at taxpayers' expense — he was certain that it would show he won Arizona. But in fact, the Cyber Ninjas hand recount showed more votes for Biden than the official government vote count in Maricopa County showed.

This story was updated at 6:50 p.m. ET to reflect additional comments from Parscale, Trump, and Maricopa County.

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